How can Twitter be an Effective Educational Tool?
Educators around the world are waking up to the realization that Twitter can be one very effective tool in the classroom.
Twitter can only be a useful educational tool if used right. It can be useful in increasing knowledge. On the other hand, using Twitter wrongly is the quickest way to end up wasting time. Before delving deeper into the reasons that make Twitter a useful educational tool, it would be good to consider that this social media platform can:
- allow teachers and their students to connect both on a personal and wider level
- allow interactions to go beyond the normal classroom experience
- allow for customization of learning depending on the level each student is at and their learning capabilities
- allow for quick connectivity with multimedia resources thus making education a more entertaining experience
- allows educationists and students to identify and connect with other learning communities
- allows for rapid broadcasting of learning
Therefore, educators now need to appreciate the exact ways through which they can use Twitter as an educational tool. Such ways include the following:
Educators can come up with hashtags depending on the topics and lessons they have lined up each day. Thereby, students can keep track of the hashtags and remember what the educator taught in class. Moreover, hashtags do not have to be all about specific lessons. They can also revolve around issues that students would need to broaden their knowledge. Examples of such hashtags include #History and #TED to mention a few.
- Quickfire Quizzes and Recaps
Twitter can be a perfect platform for posting quizzes and doing recaps of past lessons. Teachers can use Twitter creatively in this manner and include rewards for students who perform excellently on the quizzes. The level of consciousness at Twitter makes this social media platform the perfect choice for conducting after-class discussions on a variety of topics. Students and teachers can limit their contribution to the short 140-character discussions.
- Learning Language
It is easier for students to follow authors on Twitter and improve their language skills. It is also possible for educators to encourage their students to create Twitter book clubs and share ideas regarding their favorite authors and books. The ability to create poems or poetry threads/tweets makes Twitter attractive for language students who desire to work on their skills or put their creativity to the test.
Educators should also feel free to use Twitter as an Announcement or Bulletin Board. This would save educators from taking notes away on the corkboards. Setting up a Twitter wall where students encourage each other to embark on a given assignment or homework would prove just as effective. Twitter accords students the opportunity to play different roles, and one of the best examples of this is the @RealTimeWWII, which is a brainchild of Alwyn Collinson.
Therefore, this is a clear proof that Twitter can be a highly effective educational tool when put to good use by educators and students alike. For these reasons, it is highly advisable for educators to find creative ways of encouraging students to embrace Twitter and use it as an educational tool. Through Twitter, students will remain in touch with each other. Students and teachers will also remain in touch with each other, thus enhancing education.